sábado, 9 de novembro de 2013

LG G Pad 8.3 Review

LG has only had one attempt at making an Android tablet (the old Optimus Pad), and it was definitely a failed one. However, with LG's recent success in the smartphone department, it was only a matter of time before they took another shot at the tablet market, and so we have today the LG G Pad 8.3. As the name suggests, the LG slate falls within the 7"-8" segment, and that puts it in direct competition with the iPad mini and the Nexus 7. With a 8.3" display of 1920 x 1200 resolution, a powerful, if not slightly outdated, Snapdragon 600 processor and a reasonable starting price of $349, the G Pad 8.3 might be just what LG needs to gain some market share in the tablet space.

LG G Pad 8.3 Apple iPad mini 2 Google Nexus 7 (2013)
 Body   217 x 126.5 x 8.3mm, 338g   200 x 135 x 7.5mm, 331g (Wi-Fi)/341g (LTE)  200 x 114 x 8.7mm, 290g (Wi-Fi)/299g (LTE)
 Display   8.3" IPS LCD 1920 x 1200 (273ppi)  7.9" IPS LCD 2048 x 1536 (324ppi)  7" IPS LCD 1920 x 1200 (323ppi) w/ Corning Gorilla Glass
 Storage   16/32 GB, 2 GB RAM (microSD expandable)  16/32/64 GB, 1 GB RAM  16/32 GB, 2 GB RAM
 Connectivity   Wi-Fi  Wi-Fi, GSM (2G), HSDPA (3G), LTE (4G)  Wi-Fi, GSM (2G), HSDPA (3G), LTE (4G)
 Camera (Rear)  5 MP with HDR and 1080p@30fps video  5 MP with HDR and 1080p@30fps video  5 MP with 1080p@30fps video
 Camera (Front)  1.3 MP  1.2 MP with 720p@30fps video  1.2 MP
 OS  Android 4.2.2  iOS 7  Android 4.3
 Processor  Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064 (Quad-core Krait 300 @ 1.7GHz + Adreno 320 GPU)  Apple A7 (Dual-core Cyclone @ 1.4GHz + PowerVR G6430 GPU)  Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro (Quad-core Krait @ 1.5GHz + Adreno 320 GPU)
 Battery  Li-Ion 4,600 mAh  Li-Po 6,430 mAh  Li-Ion 3,950 mAh
 Starting Price  $349 (16 GB)  $399 (16 GB)  $229 (16 GB)


One of the best things about the G Pad 8.3 is its amazing design. Many elements of the G Pad 8.3's design are somewhat similar to the iPad mini, for instance, the narrow side bezels and the aluminium construction. For its size, the G Pad 8.3 is very thin. Measuring just 8.3mm (yeah, just like the name of the tablet and the size of the display), it's slightly thinner than the 2013 Nexus 7, but still a bit thicker than the iPad mini. The G Pad 8.3 also weighs 338g, so it's significantly heftier than the Nexus 7 (of course, the Nexus 7 has a much smaller display and battery), and a few grams heavier than the new iPad mini (albeit with a much smaller battery than the iPad mini's). It's clearly not as svelte as the iPad mini, but for its size and price it's still very thin and light.

The G Pad is one of the few Android tablets that have a back cover made of aluminium. In the case of the G Pad, it's a brushed aluminium finish. On the very center, oriented vertically, is an LG logo, and the right side of the back contains one speaker, decently spaced apart. Obviously, the landscape positioning of the two speakers means you'll only get a stereo effect when you're holding the tablet in landscape mode, which makes sense, since watching videos and playing games is usually done in landscape mode. On the top-left corner sits a 5 MP camera that can shoot up to 1080p@30fps video. 

The front of the tablet makes it look a lot like a blown up LG G2. The 8.3" display is of IPS technology, which means excellent viewing angles and good color reproduction. The 1920 x 1200 resolution results in a very crisp pixel density of 273ppi. While the display is extremely sharp and it's almost impossible to be able to discern individual pixels with the naked eye, it still falls short of the iPad mini 2 and the 2013 Nexus 7, which have displays of 323ppi and 324ppi, respectively. While the difference between 273ppi and 323ppi sounds big, in most cases it's very hard to notice a difference in sharpness between them. 


That is the area where LG has compromised to keep the price of the G Pad 8.3 low. While lately we've only seen flagship devices be powered by the latest and greatest SoCs, like the Snapdragon 800 or the Tegra 4, the G Pad 8.3 sports a more modest Snapdragon 600 SoC. This processor is composed of four Krait 300 cores running at up to 1.7GHz plus an Adreno 320 GPU. This means that the G Pad will perform considerably worse than the iPad mini 2, but will still match the 2013 Nexus 7 on that area. While the G Pad is nowhere close to the current flagships in terms of processor power, it would be a lie to say that it's slow by any means. As long as LG doesn't bloat its custom UI too much (which it hasn't done), the G Pad 8.3 should offer smooth performance at all times.


LG's return to the tablet market has potential to be great. The G Pad 8.3, aka LG's first shot at making a tablet in years, excels in its design with a sufficiently thin and light aluminium chassis and has an excellent display. LG's choice of using a slightly older processor in the G Pad 8.3 might be a deal breaker to some, though. Priced at $349 for 16 GB, it isn't exactly overpriced, but it's not that cheap either, considering what it offers, but still, the G Pad 8.3 is currently the best 8-inch Android tablet available. If you can afford to spend an extra $50 though, I think the iPad mini 2 will be a better alternative when it becomes available. 

4 comentários:

  1. "While the G Pad is nowhere close to the current flagships in terms of processor power, it would be a lie to say that it's slow by any means."

    What are the "current flagships" you're talking about? You compared it to the iPad Mini and the Nexus 7. The G Pad has a slower processor than the Mini and a faster processor than the Nexus 7. So, in what way is it "nowhere near" the current "flagships"? Looks to me like it's absolutely consistent with current tablets.

    1. Ah, guess I didn't explain myself very well. When I say flagships I'm talking about devices with the latest silicon (Snapdragon 800, Tegra 4 or Apple A7). The Nexus 7 had flagship hardware at the time when it launched, but the G Pad launched when there were already faster processors available, and that's why I said it fell behind current flagships.

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